Malaysia rejected a compensation offer of “less than $2 billion” from Goldman Sachs for the role of its subsidiaries in the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal, an aide to the country’s prime minister said yesterday.
Huge sums were stolen from Malaysian state fund 1MDB in a fraud allegedly involving former prime minister Najib Razak and his cronies, and spent on everything from high-end real estate to a luxury super-yacht.
Goldman’s role has been under scrutiny as it helped arrange bond issues worth billions for 1MDB, with Malaysia claiming large amounts were misappropriated in the process and seeking $7.5 billion in redress.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who reopened an investigation into the scandal after seizing power last year, told the Financial Times his government spurned a much smaller offer by the Wall Street titan.
“Goldman Sachs has offered something like less than $2 billion,” he said in a Friday interview with the newspaper.
“We are not satisfied with that amount so we are still talking to them... If they respond reasonably we might not insist on getting that $7.5 billion,” he added, without providing further details.
A staff member travelling with Mahathir, who is currently in Bangkok, confirmed the premier’s remarks to AFP on Saturday.